Disclosure of Sexual Assault
If someone confides in you that they have been sexually assaulted, it is first important to be supportive and attentive. The following responses are appropriate:
- listening without judgement and accepting the disclosure as true;
- communicating that sexual violence is never the responsibility of the survivor;
- helping the individual identify and/or access available on- or off-campus services, including emergency medical care and counselling;
- respecting the individual's right to choose the services they feel are most appropriate and to decide whether to report to the police and/or Campus Security at 519-972-2741;
- recognizing that disclosing can be traumatic and an individual's ability to recall the events may be limited;
- respecting the individual's choices as to what and how much they disclose about their experience; and
- making every effort to respect confidentiality and anonymity.
It is important to review and understand the many myths and misconceptions about sexual violence. Please refer to the attached Myths and Misconceptions chart for more information.
Once you have listened, refer your friend or colleague to the sexual assault crisis centre or any of the resources listed in this document.